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#28674 - 05/17/03 07:10 PM Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Help! I'm in the process of buying a new piano and was wondering a few things. First, can you talk the piano stores down on the prices of the piano or is the price they give you firm? Second, we are currently looking at a Samick baby grand. It's used, only about 2 months old because the lady decided she wanted something bigger afterall. They are asking $6500.00. Is anyone famliar with the brand. Does this sound like a good deal?

Any other tips or hints when looking for a piano would be helpful. Thanks!
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#28675 - 05/17/03 09:01 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Arlene Steffen Offline
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Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I've not heard particularly good things about the Samick, but I've never actually played one either.

Be cautious. I know you are excited at the prospect of getting a piano, especially if you are buying a grand. Take your time; play lots of pianos. This is a huge investment and you don't want to be sorry you laid out such a huge amount of money.

I lucked out, really, when I bought mine last year. Of course, I'm paying for it for the next few years . . .

You should get a copy of the The Piano Book my Larry Fine. Our public library carries it, but I think it's worthwhile for a piano teacher to have a copy that could be loaned to parents.

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#28676 - 05/17/03 09:35 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Yes, and talk to your piano tuner/technician. He is a valuable resource and often knows about brands.

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#28677 - 05/18/03 12:46 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but if you're getting a grand get a good one. If you can't afford a good grand, get a good upright. Regarding grands, I've played on a bunch of them. We'll leave out the Fazioli and Imperial Bosendorfers. I can't afford the lid on them.

I will say this: you won't find a decent grand for under about $15,000, new or used.

1st choice: Steinway -- actually if you don't mind something a bit large, you might be able to find a sweet deal on a B (7'). M's and L's usually are more expensive used. Reason is that most people want a parlor grand. On a used one, budget about $3,000 over and above purchase price for work like a new action, hammers, etc.

2nd choice: Yamaha -- for cost the G series isn't bad for what you get. You won't get the character of a Steinway, but they're not bad.

3rd choice: get a good upright. $6500 might get you into a decent one. Yamaha here.

Samicks have no depth of tone, nor do many of the brands. I haven't really been impressed with very many pianos.

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#28678 - 05/18/03 08:27 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
We have to get a baby grand because our living room will not fit a grand. It will be taking most of the room just with a baby.

My library doesn't open again until Tuesday and we have an appt. on Monday at a piano store. I'll just have to try really hard not to get caught up in the excitement and not buy before I do my research! Thanks!

Thanks for the input, keep them coming.
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#28679 - 05/18/03 09:06 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Lisa Kalmar Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
The price has nothing to do with the sticker or what they tell you initially. It's a lot like buying a house in that regard. It would be helpful for you, negotiating-wise, if you find two pianos at different stores that are comparable. Then pit the salespeople against each other. That's the best way to get a good deal. Like buying a house, you don't want to become emotionally attached to a specific instrument or timeframe. (Or don't let the salesperson know at least!)

Oftentimes you can get a better deal towards the end of the month, due to sales quotas that have to be met.

Don't forget to have them throw in "freebies" at the last minute. When you can't get them to budge on price is a good time to demand stuff like a double artist bench, stuff like that.

The exception to any of these rules is often Yamaha. They are so popular there's usually little leeway on the prices.

Whatever you do, remember to budget above & beyond the cost of your grand for a damppchaser system installation. It will pay for itself pretty fast with the need for less tunings and makes a HUGE difference for your instrument on a day to day basis.

I would second getting a copy of the Fine book and the recommendation to slow down. Play lotsa pianos, even some out of town, if you can. Also, for that kind of money I wouldn't go NEAR a Samick. JMO!

PS CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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#28680 - 05/18/03 09:35 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
newpianoplayer Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 34
Gop to www.pianoworld.com and check out the piano forum. You'll get lots of advise about buying a piano.
http://www.pianoworld.com/

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#28681 - 05/18/03 10:53 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
alidoremi Offline
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Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
Yamaha, Steinway, Kawai would be my choices, with Yamaha my favorite.

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#28682 - 05/18/03 12:27 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Ditto to Yamaha, Steinway and Kawai. I have played some very nice Baldwins as well. I have played many pianos in the stores (don't own a grand yet either) and I haven't ever liked ANY of the Samicks AT ALL! I have a Kawai upright that is 17 years old and looks and sounds great. I have person after peron tell me they love the sound of my piano and it is only a studio size upright. It has been so great I may look at Kawai when I go to buy a grand. Seems the Yamaha's all sound great, yet each piano is very individual. How exciting for you! I hope you find just the perfect one!

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#28683 - 05/18/03 12:57 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
John Offline
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Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I've only played 2 Bostons (made by Steinway), but loved them both. Think of them as the affordable Steinway.
http://www.steinway.com/boston/about.shtml

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#28684 - 05/18/03 02:24 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jason Offline
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Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Bostons are made by Kawai.
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#28685 - 05/18/03 02:34 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
CR Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 03/18/01
Posts: 289
Loc: Idaho
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
Whatever you do, remember to budget above & beyond the cost of your grand for a damppchaser system installation. It will pay for itself pretty fast with the need for less tunings and makes a HUGE difference for your instrument on a day to day basis.


Ms. Lisa,

what is a dampchaser?? I am interested.
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#28686 - 05/18/03 03:10 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Lisa Kalmar Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I notice you refer to me as MS. Lisa. Are you by chance someone from my dubious past?!? \:D
www.dampp-chaser.com

PS I didn't spend anywhere NEAR what the site says the cost! Check with you local technician to be certain!

 Quote:
Originally posted by CR:
Ms. Lisa,

what is a dampchaser?? I am interested.


[ 05-18-2003: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

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#28687 - 05/18/03 04:42 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
NancyK Offline
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Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Jason..thanks for that info about Bostons being made by Kawai.

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#28688 - 05/18/03 04:49 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
AdrienneM Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 317
Loc: Kentucky, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jason:
Bostons are made by Kawai.


Um . . . I'm confused. If they are made by Kawai, then why would Bostons be advertised by Steinway?

~Adrienne
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#28689 - 05/19/03 04:45 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
pianoannie Offline
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Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
The salesman at a piano store explained it to me this way: Steinway designs the Bostons, determines all the specs, etc; but Steinway has Kawai actually make the Bostons. Like John, I have loved the Bostons I have played on. I'd been saving up for a Yamaha, but now I'm really leaning toward Boston. I have plenty of time before the $$ is in place though, so I'll be doing lots more looking around. I want to find a store that carries Kawai and get familiar with them, as 2 different piano techs have recommended them highly.

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#28690 - 05/19/03 06:16 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Dolce Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
So if Kawai is less expensive, would it make sense to buy a Kawai, since they are capable enough to build for Steinway?

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#28691 - 05/19/03 07:31 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
pianoannie Offline
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Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
What "makes sense" is to do what works for you. I don't have a lot of experience personally with Kawai, but there does seem to be some logic in what you say about them being good enough to build for Steinway(Boston). At my nearest music stores, the Steinways cost betwen 50-95,000, so that is clearly not an option for me in this lifetime!
Just be sure you spend LOTS of time playing on LOTS of pianos. Try a wide variety of music, to see how each one is; try trills, glissandos, wide range of notes, etc.
I bought my current piano too quickly and didn't realize how firm the action was (I swear it didn't feel that firm in the store!) I began having pain in my hands within 6 months of buying it, but just haven't been able to buy a different one yet.

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#28692 - 05/19/03 07:59 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
John Offline
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Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
(for myself) Not giving a flying **** about who builds what :p \:D , it all gets down to playing a LOT of pianos, and paying close attention to the sound, action, and feel, and doing a bit of research about how the piano holds up over time.

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#28693 - 05/19/03 08:38 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Vivace' Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
I have a 6'8" Kawai......love it!
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#28694 - 05/19/03 10:28 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Arlene Steffen Offline
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Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
Don't forget to look at rebuilds. I bought my Steinway L for $29K. The trick is you have to make sure the rebuild was done properly.

If I didn't have this instrument, I probably would be looking at the Kawai grands. I've liked them better than the Yamaha grands, in general. Don't know why, but I prefer the Yamaha uprights over the Kawai uprights.

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#28695 - 05/19/03 01:32 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jalapeņa Offline
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Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I luv my Yamaha 52" upright with the working sostenuto pedal, & plan to buy the very same model next time I shop for a new piano, whenever my piano needs to be restrung (my technician says in about 10 years). I'll never own a house large enough for a 6' grand, & I prefer my upright to the 5' grands I've played on.

FWIW, I wouldn't pay a cent for a Baldwin. I have never played on a Baldwin that's worth anything. :rolleyes: For one thing, the action's much too stiff.

My piano teacher has a Kawaii upright that's still going strong. \:\) It's been a good piano for her.

My mother & sister both own Yamaha uprights, & love them. Of course, my mother doesn't play; she just has it in the house for family members to play when they visit her. However, I was there the last time it was tuned, & the technician remarked about how good Yamahas are. He wanted to buy my mom's piano, but she wasn't interested in selling it.

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#28696 - 05/20/03 01:16 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Piano lady Offline
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Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Steinway grands don't cost anything close to $50K unless you're getting a brand new one and paying list. Besides, I like the older ones better anyway.

If you look at used ones, you can snag an "M" (5'7") circa 1920 for between $10K and $25K depending upon condition. The $25K should be able to go right into your house, have a refinished case, new action, the works. The $10K one you can expect to put about $5000 into for rebuilding: new Renner action, new hammers, shanks, & wippins.

Buying a used piano can be tricky. No matter how bad of shape, the piano should sing. Bring your technician.

I got mine for $13K about 7 years ago -- 1916 M. put $3500 into it. Worth the $25K now.

Make sure you get something you're going to be happy with. I'd lean toward that upright unless you've got a lot of money free.

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#28697 - 05/20/03 04:43 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
pianoannie Offline
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Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Steinway grands don't cost anything close to $50K unless you're getting a brand new one and paying list. Besides, I like the older ones better anyway.


Yes, the $50-90K that I've seen were indeed new and list, but there's not enough negotiating room to be of significance to me! I've never seen any used Steinways at that store. Where do you all look for used? I hate to just pick up the paper and start driving all over the state. I know ebay has lots of pianos, but I can't imagine buying one that way (unless one happened to be very near home). I've bought both of my pianos new, but if you're on the mark with saying used Steinways can be bought for 10-25K, I need to seriously reconsider! The Boston I love at our store lists for almost 30K. Every time my piano savings gets close, some financial emergency ie job layoff comes along, and drains it!

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#28698 - 05/20/03 05:46 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Arlene Steffen Offline
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Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I got mine when our local store acquired two rebuilt Steinways from a technician in L.A. They knew I was looking and called me. I got to choose between and M and an L. They were both lovely, so I took the bigger one. \:\)

Both technicians I've had to my home say I've done very well. I love my piano -- it does sing!

We are managing to pay for it much more easily since we refinanced the house. $400 less going out the door each month. We got 15 years at 5.5%! The new carpet was installed in the LR yesterday, the landscaper comes today, the roofer comes Thursday . . .

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#28699 - 05/20/03 08:29 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jalapeņa Offline
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Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
My Yamaha U3 (which is now model U4; they've changed the specs) was purchased new in July 1977, for my 16th birthday. The list price was somewhere around $3k, but my father paid less by trading in our 10-year-old Kimball upright + a Lowry organ. Anyhoo, other than having it tuned 2x/yr., I've spent under $850 in repairs, which isn't that bad considering it was in a Costa Rican tropical rain forest environment (no heat or A/C, just a small damp chaser rod inside the piano) for 8 years. Also, over $400 of the $$ I spent was for replacing 44 hammer butt strings, which I later found out was a completely unnecessary repair. Leave it to a Lubbock piano technician to rip me off! :rolleyes: The rest of the repairs were for "wear & tear" stuff such as leveling the keys, repairing a squeaky damper pedal, & voicing. Overall, considering how much use it's gotten & how many times it's been moved, I think it's had a pretty good repair record. \:\)

[ 05-20-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

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#28700 - 05/22/03 03:13 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Okay! We are down to two piano's for our deciding factor. Here they are,
if you are familiar with both, please give me your opinion... I did buy
Larry Fine's The Piano Book and really glad I did. It's so nice to be
eductated before

Piano #1
Wm. Kanabe 590 SR
5'6"
Store demo - used 5 years
Includes PianoDisc system and can record (PDS128 Plus)
Includes $500.00 worth of music for PianoDisc system
5 year warranty
Great condition
Delivery included
$9995

Piano #2
Yamaha DP1
5'3"
Includes Disclavier (does not record but can play L.H. R.H. seperate which
is pretty cool.)
Brand New, got them down to $13,995


What would you do? And why? Another option we might consider is a 5' (I
think GE-20) Kawai and have them add a Disclavier to it. They have one down
to $8995. Thanks!

Jennifer
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#28701 - 05/22/03 04:41 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Which one plays like a dream to you and there's your answer.

Regarding #1, there can be a HUGE difference between a 5'6" and 5'1". Huge, I say. Also, the recording function can come in veeeeery handy if you don't have any other technology in your studio that can do that. Just a couple of thangs that popped into my head!

You were smart and nailed down thangs that were close in size and price. When I was looking I stoopidly played the 5'8", I think, (Schimmel) that I was pretty sure I was gonna buy. A lovely Debussy piece, as I recall... \:D Then I, like an idiot, moved to the model next to it that was identical manufacturer, but 14-16" larger and thousands more, and played the identical passage. Mr. Kalmar looked at me in anguish and said, "I wish you wouldn't have done that!" Having heard the difference we had NO CHOICE but to get the more expensive one because we knew we would always look back with regret if we bought the "OK" one! \:D

PS I had to get a loan for 3 years and I never regretted a PENNEY of it! A grand piano is the gift that keeps on giving!


[ 05-22-2003: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

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#28702 - 05/22/03 07:45 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I agree with Lisa. Buy the largest and best brand you can afford (plus a little more) and the one you LOVE to play. You will not regret it in the long run, although when you finance it you will have a lump in your throat \:D . I know little about the extras you add to acoustic pianos so can't comment on that. Good luck, Jennifer. Let us know what is your decision.

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#28703 - 05/23/03 01:57 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
Hi Jennifer,

Buying a new-to-you piano is one of the great joys in life -- and sometimes it turns out to be a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime event, so please don't rush it. You may end up with more new husbands than you do pianos -- so when you look at it from that perspective, it just makes logical sense to take your time, shop around, open up the lid and look around thoroughly, play as many different instruments as possible, and -- unlike shopping for a spouse -- it's a good idea to watch and listen while someone else plays it.



[ 05-23-2003: Message edited by: Rhapsody ]
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#28704 - 05/26/03 03:00 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Whoohoo! I'm so excited! We bought our piano! After much research,
playing and input from everyone, we decided to go with the Yamaha grand. It
comes with the disklavier. The only thing that was holding me back on this
one is it didn't have the record function on it, so they threw in an outbox
for way below wholesale. Which will probably prove to be a greater asset as
it is mobile and I can take it downstairs to where my keyboards are... Plus
they threw in a concert bench for FREE! I know we got an awesome deal.
Especially seeing we paid new what someone was advertising their 2 year old
same model for on the internet.

They deliver tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait! Thanks again for all the
input and advice that was given!

Jennifer
\:D
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#28705 - 05/26/03 03:31 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
I am SO excited for you! Congratulations!!
I hope to be buying a grand in the not too distant future as well! Man..you won't be able to sleep tonight knowing that piano is coming tomorrow! What a great day!

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#28706 - 05/26/03 04:20 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Congratulations! \:\) \:\) \:\) Don't you just love getting them to throw in "freebies"? ;\) \:D

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#28707 - 05/26/03 04:54 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Yes... We actually decided we didn't want the Kanabe for a few reasons and decided against the Kawai because we liked the feel and sound of the Yamaha better but we didn't let the store that sold Yamaha's know this...
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#28708 - 05/26/03 07:00 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Congratulations, Jennifer! I know you will have many hours of pure joy out of your new piano!

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#28709 - 05/26/03 07:11 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
Congratulations! How exciting! And I'm sure it's somewhat of a relief to know the decision has been made.
BTW, I went piano shopping today with my husband, since he had Memorial Day off. I went to a store that carried Kawai (among others) because so many people have recommended Kawaii. The store didn't carry the 6'1" that my piano tech has recommended, but they did carry the 5'8". I just didn't care for the sound or feel, unfortunately. It sounded a bit mushy, for lack of a better term, and I was surprised at the firmness of the action. (and firm action is the reason I want to get rid of the piano I have). The prices were terific though, compared to the Boston that I've been eyeing for about 2 years.
Here's a story about my son's guitar shopping experience from today (I love this story!) We went into a guitar store on a whim (part of town we've never been to) and their selection was wonderful. I noticed some Yamaha's that said list price 349, but their sale price was 199. I thought that sounded great for a starter guitar for him, since I love both of my Yamaha guitars. Well, while we were looking at those, a total stranger came up to my son and said "Hey, they were running a Memorial Day special on those this morning for $29.00. Really, I swear, I just paid $29 for that exact guitar this morning." We're thinking oh yeah, sure, a brand new guitar for $29!!?! He even pointed out who his salesman had been, so my son asked if he could get that price, and the salesman said ok!!! So he got a $349 guitar for $29.00!!! I still can't believe it!!!
I was hoping to find a $29 special at the piano store, but no such luck! \:\(

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#28710 - 05/26/03 08:58 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Wow..what a great deal! My husband is a guitarist and teacher and works as a salesman at a local music store, selling guitars and amps and all the rest. We have guitars galore here at home between the both of us and he is always getting deals. He had to work today and they had a big Memorial Day sale. I'll ask him (when he is finished with one student he has tonight)if they had such a deal?

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#28711 - 05/27/03 12:14 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
I'd say, that's an awesome deal! That is great! ;\)

Jennifer
(Who is anxiously awaiting for her delivery right now) \:D
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#28712 - 05/27/03 01:43 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
It's 1:45pm Daylight Savings time here in CA. Did your piano arrive yet? How is it?
Did you sleep last night?

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#28713 - 05/27/03 02:30 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Ha! Ha! I actually woke up late this morning because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM. It was called "Hurry the kids out the door" kind of morning...

My piano is now sitting in my living room. Actually it's playing in my living room. This is going to be so fun!!!
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#28714 - 05/27/03 02:34 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Also you should not necessarily shy away from an M thinking it is smaller. Before 1920 (or around there), the string length on the M was the same as the L they're making today. They moved the pin block forward after that time. I have a 1926 M and am quite happy with it.

You may want to look in the Sunday paper of the nearest metropolitan area to you. Just remember you may end up dropping an extra $3K for work. In the end, a Steinway is well worth it.

Edit: I meant 1916 M

[ 05-30-2003: Message edited by: Piano lady ]

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#28715 - 06/02/03 09:15 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
My piano made it to my new home safe & sound, thank goodness. The movers wrapped it well, then bracketed it to the wall of the van so it wouldn't move. I guess after I insured it for $20k, they wanted to make sure nothing happened to it, LOL! \:D

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#28716 - 06/02/03 10:41 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
It is interesting to note we have not heard from Jennifer since May 27!!!! I bet she has not gotten off that new bench very much since then! \:D I got my new piano in January and everyday I am so thankful it is mine. Jala, glad to hear you got your piano and furnishing to your new home. Today I saw on Oprah how one gal was moving and had ALL her furniture stolen. It just vanished. Had the moving co. checked out ahead of time and still got ripped off. Glad it did not happen to you.

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